Saturday, February 5, 2011

Letting Go....

After reading Emilie Richards' blog "Out With The Old, In With The. . . Maybe Not" posted on February 4th I decided it was time to do some purging of things myself.  Now books will be a hard one for me as I see my books as friends and many I have read more than one time, others are just hard to part with.  I am currently purging my teaching materials and finding some hard to part with even though I am retiring at the end of the year.  Some are ones I have really enjoyed using, or were ones that I got in conjunction with a class I took and I feel are useful.  The other thought in the back of my mind is "What if I decide to return to teaching at some point?"  I might want some of these materials. Other books are very out of date and though I am offering them to friends they may well just need to head to the recycling bin, which is a tough call as they have been useful to me in the past.  I am finding it easier to go through my files and delete copies of old assignments or articles I saved to use in class than to sort through my books.  I know I am probably saving more than I really should, but it is hard to cull the books.
I am making a possibility pile that I will go through again in a few days to see if at that time I still feel the need to keep a particular book, but most are heading off to new homes and a few are finding their way from school back to my house for possible future use.  In a year I will go through them again and see if I plan to return to teaching or if I am really ready to let go of all the books that tie me to the last 26 years of my life. It is hard to clear away and let go of things that have been useful and that I have become attached to.  
I have spent half my life in a classroom as a teacher and many of the materials I have used for several years, so have been sitting in a box the last few years because instead of teacher English which I love, I have taught history, which I enjoy.  If I return to teaching I think I would like to teach English again rather than history as I enjoy writing.
I have no problem purging anything related to special education as I am done with the meetings, and paperwork.  That is a part of my life I hope to never experience again.  It is funny what thoughts come to mind as I sort through materials and the memories that are attached to some of them. 
One book in particular stands out from those I sorted through yesterday; it was one that had different ideas for using literature in the classroom. One of the ideas was to put Hansel and Gretel on trial and I remember doing that with a special group of students when we lived on Adak. I can picture some of them in their roles as attorneys, a judge, the jury and witnesses, as well as the main characters from the story. That book is one that was hard to let go of, but I passed it on to a friend who I hope will enjoy using the ideas in it as much as I did.
I have several more boxes of books to sort through in the coming weeks and I know I will find more memories and say goodbye to more friends. I hope that those who I pass the books on to will enjoy using them with their students and that many memories are made in student's minds as in the teachers. I know there are some students out there that remember putting Hansel and Gretel on trial and enjoyed that experience as much as I did.
Next are the books on my shelves at home, and some of the many things I have collected over the years that I really do not need.  I hope my trash is someone else's treasure.

2 comments:

  1. Wanda, it's funny how some things that we feel are so important to us and help make our lives easier....... are disposable after all. I have many books too, but almost seems like a sin to rid myself of them, but just like the enclyopedias - who uses them?? Everything is available on the internet now, it's a different place and time.
    Glad you are making more time for you. You've paid your dues!! Hugs!! xo

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  2. Wanda, I have had trouble parting with someof my teaching materials from my days in nursing. Some of them I developed and I had memories attached to them too.
    Good luck sorting through all your books and other things. It actually feels kinda of good to have the space once you part with some of the stuff.
    The count down is really on!!!

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